November 17, 2008
what a great show - just short of 5
so after a tough night working out some kinks in front of 20,000 lunatic devotees what does our favorite family fun band do for a follow up -- welll..... get on board everyone! let's see what this mother can do!!!!! jerry doesn;t waste any time getting warmed up -- he digs in on the Bertha opener... and sounds like he is in good voice too.... as much as Uncle>Mexicali may have seemed trite at the time, or uninspiring in the set list, often Jerry got down to some of his hottest PICKIN' on those numbers -- especially MEXICALI BLUES -- and this is a good one. and the perfect lead-up to the conclusion of the set "Althea>LLR, Big RR Blues, Let It Grow," -- the last number giving us a nice hint of what would continue to evolve in set II. indeed, at 10:50 phil and the drummers sound ready for launch..... jerry guides them back for a bonus smooth landing.
the band come back out with an effortless sounding Cold Rain & Snow -- with Brent on the church organ for THROWBACK effect. jerry delivers the lyric in thick syrupy fashion, playing the timbre of his voice against the hall perfectly. the mix is right -- it's mostly Jerry on the chorus, bobby and brent are kept in the shadows -- their contribution is felt more than heard......
in general, PHIL IS TOO LOW in the mix throughout the tour -- the absence is felt on PLAYIN, as every one sounds spot on, including phil - it is just not the optimal mix. phil is vying with the ride cymbal for stomping ground -- no slight there -- billy played a mean cymbal.... lots of good interplay occurs here -- bobby, brent, jerry, they all sound in touch and listening -- no one really challenges for the lead -- jerry just fires off licks and takes the jam up a notch at 6:00 as he moves into "super fast strumming" mode. every one keeps up nicely..... they almost head off somewhere VERY interesting at 8:50 of playin.... but soon move into Eyes of the World.... jerry is all revved up from playin and simply dazzles on this very UP, inspired "Post 74" Eyes.... him and Brent get something nice goin from the 7 minute mark.... they are really locked in on each other....
the rest of this set is preceded heavily by it's reputation -- Phil's Earthquake Space -- and while i highly recommend it -- and the REPRISE>REPRISE conclusion -- all very fun. but the big Turkey Dinner occurred before drums.... the rest here is a very special dessert. lovely and sweet indeed.... but well.... glad we got some good grub up front.